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Holiday in Wales

 

We just returned from a wonderful camping trip exploring Wales. Many beautiful places and cool sites were seen. Whilst in Snowdonia, we experienced the worst weather there in a hundred years. We decided to pack up and head home, skipping our week in Scotland. Until I get the blogs written of all of our adventures, enjoy a little taste of our trip.

 

 

 

~ Jody

We Have Snow

For months now I have been scanning the weather, hoping against hope that snow would come to England. There have been many false alarms. That all changed this week. England, as well as most of Europe, was plunged into a Deep Freeze. The temperatures had fallen and every morn we awoke to frost. As I scraped the ice off of the car wind screen, I could not contain my excitement. Could snow be far off? For the past week, the weather has been warning of “significant snow”. Each day I checked the weather. Each day I hoped. Finally, we would have some snow.

Having lived through the snow and mayhem that followed last December, we knew that although the snow would be beautiful it would throw the country into a tail-spin. We went to Tesco on Friday and I left without purchasing anything. The queues were worse than anything I had seen at Christmas. We then went to Sainsbury’s and made some progress. We had originally planned a trip to Hay-on-Wye in Wales to explore the book shops. We cancelled this. England does not have the equipment to deal with snow and the drivers are not used to it. Driving on those twisty turny roads to Wales in the snow was not a good idea. We would just curl up and watch the snow fall. I had not planned our meals well and another trip to Sainsbury’s was required yesterday morning. It was mid-morning and I thought that we would be fine. No so much.We had to follow shoppers leaving the store in order to get their parking space. Just like in Canada, the bread shelves are on of the first to be emptied when bad weather is coming. We rushed through the store and made it home without too much drama. Before any storm, I love to have the house all nice and tidy. That way I can sit back and enjoy being house-bound and not be distracted with household chores waiting to be done. We could then relax and enjoy our snow day together. Watching some telly, reading, eating and napping.

The first flakes started to fall mid-afternoon yesterday. We bundled up and the poodle had on her mittens, sweater and soft-shell (she really minds the cold in her old age). Brittany loves the snow. She was racing around like a lunatic and acting like a puppy. The horses in the field behind our house were wearing their jackets and seemed to be confused by the snow. Snow always brings out my inner child. When I was taking the recycling out, I started to throw snowballs at Andrew. He was inside at the kitchen window. Later that night, I was at the kitchen window, waiting for Andrew to come back from the garage with some pop. He started throwing snowballs at the window. I went to the door and opened it to tell him to hurry up with our drinks. At the same time, he threw a snowball…and…SPLAT…right in the face. We both broke into fits of laughter remembering days gone by and childhood snowball fights.

Nothing excites me more that waking up to the world covered in snow. I crawled out of bed early and began an hearty breakfast. A walk to Burton Dassett was awaiting. We bundles up and set off. The road was filled with families pulling sledges. The snow was turning to slush and the hilly road leading to the top was becoming slippery. Cars were sliding down at the half-way point. The morning had a party feel. The top of the hill was covered in a shroud of gauzy fog. The sheep were gathered together waiting for the farmer to deliver their feed.

Jody Weymouth Photography

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Foggy Walk in the English Countryside

Burton Dassett Hills is a former ironstone quarry. The beacon tower is the landmark that lets us know we are close to home. The windswept hills still bear the scars of years of having the ironstone chipped from the earth. A fog hugged the hills and a crisp wind blew over the barren landscape. The damp weather did not detour the walkers or the sheep.

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New Year’s Walk at Stowe

Once again we started off the New Year with an activity that is important to us and that we want to be a big part of the coming year. The three of us pile into the car, the boot filled with jackets, wellies and gloves and head off for a country walk. The air is crisp and filled with promise. A mist hung over the English countryside clinging to the distant hills. It is the type of day that must have inspired Thomas Hardy, Jane Austen and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Our destination was Stowe, a National Trust landscape park. We arrived to a car park full of cars. Like our walk last year on New Year’s Day, we were not alone. There is something so refreshing about a country where lots of people are out walking the countryside on New Year’s day instead of in bed or lazing the day away. Decked out in Barbour, wellies and gloves we headed off to explore. Brittany was in heaven and loved being off leash and free to explore to her heart’s content. Stowe is a beautiful landscape park filled with beautiful statutes. Back in the late 18th-century Stowe was the most beautiful landscape garden in Britain and rivalled those of even European royalty. Stowe has been welcoming visitors since the 1730s when the Temple family who created Stowe opened the gardens to the public. In 1845 Queen Victoria toured Stowe. Unfortunately in 1848, the 2nd Duke of Buckingham faced bankruptcy and the contents of the house and gardens were sold. Stowe is a wonderful example of Georgian magnificence and the work of Capability Brown.

Stowe    Jody Weymouth Photography

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Happy Anniversary

Andrew and I tend to think long term in our decisions. The date for our wedding was no exception. We wanted a date that we would most likely be together. This may sound easy but with Andrew’s job, he is away…a lot. We picked Thanksgiving weekend. People were off work, beautiful fall colours and being able to see each other for our anniversary in the future.

Three years of marriage has brought us good times and bad, laughter and tears and a lot of seperations. We have lots to celebrate. An incredible life that we are creating together. Being together. Loving each other truly, madly, deeply. Dreaming dreams and making them come true…together.

As in previous years, we celebrated our anniversary on the Saturday. We were on the road early and headed into London.Our first stop was Leicester Square for theatre tickets. The discount ticket booths that line a side street of the Square offer great deals on tickets. We had no real preference. We just wanted to see a fab show. We got discounted tickets for the matinee to Billy Elliot. Our next stop was Portobello Road. Saturday is street market day. The place was crowded. If you have money to spend and are the hunt for the unique, antique or vintage Portobello Road is the place to be. We had time for a quick lunch of crepes before heading to the Victoria Palace. Wicked is running just down the street and the tube was filled with women wearing fab green witch hats and beautiful green feather boas. On our big list of shows to see is Wicked and I will be sure to have my green hat and feather boa.

Billy Elliot was a wonderful movie and I was beyond excited to see the theatre production. Singing, dancing and great acting. A perfect way to celebrate. The Victoria Palace is a stunning building complete with balconies and private boxes. I could just picture Queen Victoria sitting in her box watching a show. After much anticipation the curtains rose. The sets were incredible. The actors pulled you in and made you cheer and cry with them. The singing. The dancing. I laughed. I cried. I enjoyed. I remembered how much I loved performing in dance shows and drama plays when I was in high school.

Most places were closed by the time the show was over, except for Tate Modern. As darkness fell we walked the streets of London holding hands. We crossed the Thames on the beautiful Millennium Bridge eating our hot caramel roasted peanuts bought from a street vendor. There was a slight chill in the air. The night was perfect. London is magical at night.

Tate Modern is a beautiful modern building housing a collection of modern art. The collection was interesting and I felt very grown-up walking through the rooms looking at art and trying to figure out the meaning. For the most part, I really had no clue about the meanings but I did enjoy the art.

We then walked along the South Bank towards London Bridge and Big Ben. Along the way we got to see the London Eye up close. It is beautiful especially at night. Our day was drawing to a close. We got to celebrate our third anniversary in a beautiful city together. We got to celebrate the life we are creating together. On the drive home we talked of the future and dreams.

London, Jody Weymouth Photography

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